This book presents a detailed examination of the current state of knowledge in the field of palaeoneurology in the main amniote groups (reptiles, birds and mammals), and advances resulting from new non-invasive technologies. The study of fossil endocasts is an area of considerable current interest and has long been central to our understanding of the evolution of the brain, development of senses and behavioural adaptations in diverse vertebrate groups and across vertebrates as a whole. Recent advances in non-invasive imaging have significantly increased the number of fossil taxa for which brain morphology is known, and it may now be possible to quantitatively analyze the relative size of brain regions.
Providing a general overview of current perspectives and problems in evolutionary neuroanatomy, this book is intended for a wide range of readers, including undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and anyone with a special interest in palaeoneurology. It is also useful as supplementary reading for courses in digital anatomy, vertebrate comparative anatomy, computed morphometrics, palaeontology, neurology and radiology as well as evolution programs
María Teresa Dozo holds a PhD in Natural Sciences from the Universidad de La Plata, and is a Researcher at CONICET, Argentina. Her research focuses on brain evolution of Cenozoic continental mammals of South America, conducting studies of the endocranial spaces in order to understand their neuromorphologies in the systematic, paleobiological and evolutionary context. Her research also includes general studies on Oligocene and Miocene mammals and palaeoenvironments from Central Patagonia to understand the evolutionary history of extinct South American mammals.
Dr Ariana Paulina-Carabajal is a dinosaur paleontologist at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medioambiente (INIBIOMA), Argentina. She holds a PhD in Natural Sciences from Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Her paleoneurology studies centre on the braincase and endocranial morphology of dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles to understand the paleobiological implications of certain anatomical regions as well as their impact on the evolution of the group. She has been a member of the scientific board of directors of The Jurassic Foundation since 2012, and the Director of the Museo Paleontologico Bariloche since 2018.
Thomas E. Macrini holds a PhD in Geological Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin and was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is currently the Department Chair and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at St. Mary’s University. His research focuses on the evolution of the brain and sensory structures in mammals utilizing high-resolution X-ray computed tomography and traditional histological serial sections to study the endocranial cavity, internal nasal cavity skeleton (turbinals) and associated epithelia, and inner ear of fossil and extant mammals. This research has laid the groundwork for the incorporation of anatomical characters from these regions of the mammalian skull into phylogenetic analyses.
Stig Walsh is a Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeobiology at the National Museum of Scotland, in the United Kingdom. His interests include neurosensory evolution in archosauromorph reptiles as well as overarching evolutionary questions concerning the evolution of the brain and senses across all vertebrate clades. He uses µCT methods to investigate external brain shape and has published both descriptive and quantitative experimental work, as well as reviews of the field of palaeoneurology.